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Showing posts from 2017

Trump's failure to appoint

This is not original but it does explain why Trump is having such a hard time appointing people to serve his administration:  people just don't want to work for him!

Trump fired Comey more than 2 months ago, and the White House said they would nominated a new head of the FBI within days, it took nearly 6 weeks to find a willing candidate and as far as I know the confirmation process has not even started...considering that Congress is in recess until September. That means that to replace one of the most visible figures in US law enforcement will take more than 7 months.  Its important to note that its not Congress that has been slow, the process is driven by the White House, they're not sending anything to Congress (although in Trump's reality its still the fault of Congress).  By this time, Obama had more than 200 posts filed in 2009 -- its even more for Bush and Clinton.  Trump, the number is 51, that it.  Right now there are only two or three names in the pipeline and Co…

Italeave: No longer a a taboo subject

These are the forces at work in Italy right now:

The path to Italeave is a difficult one, requiring a referendum and a constitutional change, but trouble is brewing on a huge number of fronts simultaneously:


The Italian banking system is insolventAnother refugee crisis is brewing (this time via boats from Libya)Italy’s youth unemployment is a whopping 37%The ECB is the buyer of only resort for Italian bondsItaly’s debt to GDP ratio is over 130% to the consternation of Eurozone officialsThe global recovery is extremely long in the toothItaly made no progress during the recoveryThe topic of Italeave is no longer taboo

Any number of things could start a chain reaction making Italeave look good to a majority of Italian voters.  Political parties tend to follow (from the front), 2/3 of all Italians political parties are pro exit, in a sense the negociations between Europe and the UK are going to be key here.  Italy accounts for 12% of Europe's GDP and is Europe's third largest bond …

Who are you calling a homo Sapien...I am no homo!

This was a line from an 1980's movie about a "meat head" who is called by a New York smart ass a Homo Sapiens...hilarity (and a fight) ensues!  Its the same for some un-name trump supporter who referred to Clinton supporters an a sign as "Morans".

Yesterday was America's birthday -- literally it marks the day America declared independence "and the church bells of Philadelphia were ringing", against the reign of "mad" king George. Now, NPR, that hot bed of leftist crazies has for almost 30 years read out the declaration of independence, and this year, I guess having a bit of fun with the twitter madness that has overtaken the oval office has decided to tweet the whole thing 140 character at a time...

Part of the declaration of independence refers the a people's right to abolish a government and form a new one...some true Trump supporter thought that this was a dig at Trump -- being completely unaware that it referred to King George...

Florida: Parents can now object to the school curriculum

Parents who object to the concept of evolution or global warming can now make sure that their kids will never hear such things!  This is the new law past last Friday in Florida.  The ideal is to shape the minds of young Americans to a reality where God is central and where science is banished to the sidelines. It used to be more complicated, and getting Harry Potter out of school libraries was a major victory for the Christian right (no joke) they also objected to Catcher in the Rye

The idea seams to be removing anything "objectionable" from the young minds so that they get the party line early -- now American education (second most expensive after Luxemburg) and which ranks the US in 30th position in reading, math and comprehension, is rather bad at doing what its suppose to do.  Needless to say that top schools still teach important facts, but there too the rot is spreading.  Just last week a national TV presenter assumed that an aircraft accident had occurred because of t…

Trump's weird vocabulary

What's with Trump these days.  You read his Tweets and every other word seems to make little sense.  Is there something afoot here?  It is evident that Trump suffers from ADHD -- its been proven time and time again that he cannot focus on a subject for more than a few minutes at a time -- his calls with world leaders are often substance less.  Its not so much that he doesn't get stuff he just cannot focus.

His latest, which is to accuse Obama in the Russia election interference is probably the worse idea he's had (excluding the firing of Comey and the hiring of Flynn) he's now recognized that there was election tampering -- that got HIM elected!  Until recently, the party line was that there was no Russian interference -- now the leader of the free world say there was:  Who benefited -- Trump so he's scored another own goal, for no good reason, again.

Listing to his speeches there is something going on with his vocabulary, its shrinking.  Trump knows his audience&#…

Lying is the simplest solution!

The White House talking heads have been selling TrumpCare to the public and have simply resorted to lying.  Simple math tell you that if you cut a few trillions from Medicare then the service provided will have to be less than what it is today!  Its a little like the decision to allocate US$ 8 billion to people with preexisting conditions sure its a lot of money ( but its no where near enough for the reality of a country with 330 million inhabitants) -- the equivalent of US$ 23.00 per person.

The news story is that premium will go down (no mention of deductibles or exclusions) for self insured Americans and that Medicare recipients will not be affected (true insofar as the changes to Medicare are slated to be in place by 2021 only... after the next presidential elections).  In a sense, Trump and his allies are playing the game well, they will be able to tell their constituents that right now there is no change to their premium, and that it may even reduce -- not mentioning what is and…

February 14, 2018 -- mark your calendar

So over the weekend i was doing a bit of surfing the interweb to find on Zero Hedge, the Trump supporter financial news service, the date on which the end of the upsurge in the financial market will end...You got it, Valentine's day of 2018 -- unfortunately, ZH failed to share why that particular day was going to be the day of reckoning -- but in their world a massive correction would start on that day.

You got to wonder how they can predict the "end of the world" so very accurately!  I for one am amazed by their ability -- turns out its not really ZH but some hedge fund (i've never heard of) that predicts that day, as the beginning of the end.

Personally, I suspect that some trader at "unknown" hedge fund has some shorts that are about to expire on or around March 1, 2018, and is looking to boost the value of these out of the money positions -- but lets just say that some trader has some rather large put options that expire in 6 months -- and these are way…

Euro 120,000.00

That's the estimated cost of Nomura's "Platinum" Research!  Your firm pays US$ 200k per annum to hear all the best bits out of Nomura -- granted I like Bob Janjuah, he's not only a friend but a brilliant tactician.   Still $200k seems a lot.

Obviously, the real change in the analyst business in Europe (as the Jan 3, 2018 rules are to take effect) is going to have one massive impact -- the business of analyst is going to shed about 95% of its workforce.

I've said this before, most research is useless -- it used to be that you would get good data analytics -- but these days you get the same stuff of Bloomberg's basic plan so there is really no reason for that. Analyst get nothing more than you can, should you choose to listen to CEO's pronouncements, and read the company's filings.  Finally, and this is the kicker, most investors are closet indexers anyway (thinking of you Fidelity...).  So the impact of the new rule will be a massive reduction on t…

Oil Prices around $43...what's going on?

Oil prices are falling -- just as the "driving season" kicks off nobody knows what's going on.  Barclays has a novel idea -- America's illegal crack down is causing demand for gasoline to fall.  ICE (the US agency in charge of finding illegal immigrants) is hard at work, with routine stops that find illegal immigrants, they in turn have reduce their travel by car dramatically (its more complicated to stop people boarding a bus -- ICE still needs probable cause...)

In Western states illegals account for a surprisingly large percentage of the total population (between 3-5%).  Some dispute these figures, but then they cannot think of anything else either.  Equally intersting are farms in Iowa facing massive labor shortage -- around 75% of all "pickers" were illegal immigrants -- farms became a massive rally point for ICE to find illegal immigrants, the impact is that Iowa farms are facing a massive labor shortage and no idea how to fill the vacuum.  The labor …

The Middle East an observation!

Trump's first Tour was a catalyst for many of those he met during his little jaunt in the Middle East and Europe.  The Europeans came out convinced that the American President understood absolutely nothing of the NATO alliance and was basically a Mercantile who viewed the world through 19th century trading rules (we export everything and you import nothing), so that we create jobs at home -- "beggar thy neighbour" policies.  The fact that Trump would not re-iterate NATO's article 5 is further evidence of his stubbornness and his lack of education (he did reiterate in speech at the White House -- but the damage was done).

In the Middle East he signed a $ 100 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia -- that was no such deal!  It was a bunch of MOU some dating back to 2015 -- signed by Trumps' greatest enemy:  Obama!  When Saudi Arabia felt they could browbeat Qatar in towing the line, they embargoed the tiny state (for the second time in a decade) and Trump took credit.…

Redux: The death of the middle man

In the endless list of things that go bang in the night, in 2011 I wrote about my experience buying a new shower head, the comment is here.  The end of shopping was already foretold in the stars.  However, and I mentioned this before, it is as bad to be early than it is to be late!!!

In a nut shell what happened is that through the internet I was able to save 60% of the cost of purchasing a new shower head by going on the internet!  First contacting my plumber who kindly told me that I should call the distributor directly only to find a true 20th century operation; 30 days delivery and cash only upfront.

Instead I bought the thing on the internet it was delivered two days later in my office.

Now if you live in a big city you face the consequences of shopping on a daily basis, driving, finding an expensive parking spot, and maybe not finding what you are really seeking...on the internet, its all done in the home, no need for excursion you buy everything from your living room.  I'm…

United Kingdom elections: How to blow a 24 point lead in 8 weeks

Theresa May's decision 8 weeks ago will haunt her and her party for years to come, for while she had a thin majority, she still had a majority.  As one newspaper said it, the first problem was to make the election about personality; when Theresa may has none! 
The hubris of a 24 point lead led to a poorly drafted, full of error manifesto, that was plainly mean!  End of life care, if you own a house the NHS would get that to pay off your health "debts".  Needless to say that for a majority of Tory voters this was not a winner!  
The number of time May seemed unprepared for relatively softball question still amazes everyone. She did, with the opposition, a town hall meeting and she was poorly prepared.
Also the answer to the problems with Brexit is not to say: "Brexit is brexit"
The Tories deserve to loose, granted Labor doesn't deserve to win, their leader is worse than May with numerous stupid statements that can only make governing harder.
Europe -- well t…

Qatar: is this the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Most will remember that the first world war "the Great War" if there was ever such a thing, started when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist.  Honestly, the pump was primed long before the Archduke was killed, but it is generally recognized that it was the final straw that lead to a war -- "to end all wars".

What is going on in the Middle East is equally strange and creating some strange behaviors.  There is no doubt that Qatar (a tiny gas rich country) has been saying and doing things outside the norm, the PLO and Israel both had offices there, and because it shares gas fields with Iran it is far less of an enemy of Iran (Shia) than is Saudi Arabia (Sunni), the conflict for leadership of the region has been on-going for decades (BTW this is not the first time that things got ugly between Qatar and SA).

Trump hand seems to be involved by strongly supporting the Sunni (aka Saudi Arabia) and making comments about Iran and the Shia t…

Brexit -- the cost

The EU has been rather adamant that the UK will pay a very steep price for exiting the European Union.  In fact, requiring that the UK pay for everything.  The figure could be anywhere between Euro 60 billion and Euro 200 billion.  In effect, the EU has asked all its institutions to create a list of demands -- like a divorce, the demands can (will) be outrageous, because if you don't ask, you certainly will not get.

How the whole thing plays out is a different story.  There is no doubt that the EU wants its cake and to eat it too!  The UK has the same problem, of course its not about "cash" rather is about access to markets and ability of British National to travel freely within Europe.  The Ft this morning indicated that the UK will need to negotiate more than 700 treaties with various countries over various issues (so lots of work there).
How all this plays out is dependent on many factors:
(1) British Elections:
This morning the worse possible news for Theresa May, sh…

California single payer solution will cost 400% of state budget?

now that's clearly BS since just north of California there is a state (British Columbia). That has universal health care, and the cost is, per capita, just a little less than half a f what it cost in California!

That's the truth!  Ho do we get an explosion in cost, you don't simply a hit piece by a dishonest hack. Who is pushing a line. The fun thing is that not only are wages lower in Canada, but so are ancillary corporate costs, since "the state". Assumes the cost of health care.

Just though it t was funny, that someone would write such BS and that no one would say anything

The Euro is on fire!

Over the past 3 months the Euro has exploded (8%) against the US dollar, moving from 1.04 to 1.12 in the space of only 90 days, this is a massive movement in the European currency and is difficult to understand or explain.

First, is the Euro improving or is the dollar falling off a cliff?  These may seem to be the same thing but they are not; looking at other Euro pairs (Yen, CAD, Peso) and you get different result;

The Mexican Peso -- third most traded currency (I know who knew) is looking at a price move of nearly 7% over the past 6 months, but of course the Peso was seriously devalued in 2016 -- a reflection of all things Trump -- since then the Peso has returned to its long term trend (slow 3-4% annual devaluation to reflect the higher inflation rate).

The Yen:  After the November election the Yen took a fall from 104 to 118 against the USD, this is slowly reversing itself towards 110/11 (seems to be an appreciation trend

The CAD:  has remained largely unchanged around 1.3 its got…

Anti vaxxer and Chem trail -- what?

I've been reading a number of articles of late on the anti vaccination movement in the US  The strangest aspect is that most anti-vaccine people are well educated and rich.  Where did these ideas come from, how come it remains at the forefront of discussion (mostly in the US)?  The same for Chem Trails -- that's the idea that jet "mix" in their exhausts chemical to do something -- bottom line whatever they are doing its very very dangerous...

How can reasonably smart people believe this utter bullshit?  I mean think about it, it makes no more sense than Pizzagate -- that's the story that Clinton and friends were running a child abduction (I think) center in the basement of a DC pizzeria (called Comet) so certain that this as fact that one crazy guy even went to investigate (with his long gun) -- and didn't believe the owner when he told him that the pizzeria had no basement.  apparently shots were fired.

All these stories have one thing in common, Facebook --…

Greece the continuing saga

This morning, the talks between Greece, the EU and the IMF broke down again.  There is no panic in the air, because everyone knows that it will be resolved...eventually.

I say this with far less conviction than in the past.  Until last year, when the last debt renegotiations took place there was a sense of doom, now not so much.  It may have to do with the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU, that Greece's exit is no longer such an issue, it could be that everyone believes that a deal will happen, at the 11th hour as usual.

The true cynic believe that the whole thing will be wrapped up once Merkel has won her elections in late September -- Greece has a debt payment due in July,  which it cannot repay, its economy has sunk back into recession, but there is simply no sense of market panic.

So to recap; for the past 4 years Greece has been going from nowhere to bad, recession, mild recovery and it can expect more of the same for the next 20 years.  The youth of the country w…

Death by a thousand cuts

I had an epiphany this morning, reading, again about Trump's many travails -- own goals and simple stupidity.  The troubled White House is leaking like a sieve and that means that everything that Trump does will become part of the national conversation.

I mean we know he records CSPAN on his 60 inch TiVo powered television so that he can watch the blow by blow of Congress with comments -- who in the world needs to know that, except it shows one thing, the President is not really minding the store, he's acting like a Monday morning quarterback.  He should be making decisions not judging the decisions of others.  If it is true, that the Israeli information on bomb in laptops was a "Do not share", and he did anyway, then it shows his carelessness.  Or the fact that the White House was "tricked" in allowing a photographer from TASS into the Oval office (while the US press was excluded) must have amused Putin to no end.  However, it shows a White House that is u…

Secrets

So the President decided to share top secret information with the Russians, so far nothing illegal has been done, stupid maybe, but not illegal, literally the President decides what is and what is not secret. That's the positive side -- there is no crime here!

Now the negative;

(1) If the Post's story is correct (note: Trump confirmed that it was) this secret information was given to the American intelligence community -- with a do not share request.  That country will now reduce the amount of information it shares with the American government.  At the very least the NSA/CIA and other acronyms will be much more careful it what they share with the President.  That's bad, because less information is bad -- especially when people are out to get you.

(2) Trump asked three of his future ex-employees to go out on and say that Trump did not share any secret information -- and that the Post got the story wrong...12 hours later Trump tweets that "it's true, I shared confid…

You go away from the weekend...and this happens!

So oil is back flirting with $50/bbl...again.  Apparently there was a deal done over the weekend to restrict supply...again, and so the market dutifully went up... again.  The stock market that had been a northingburger (yeah low vol but not much overall activity) is up nearly 1%, on a news lite day.

Straying a bit into politics, I note that Trump has been staying away from Twitter this weekend, I thing, but maybe he's been too busy remember all the names of the countries and people he will be meeting in his upcoming, golf free, foreign trip.  Historically, Canada has been the first port of call of any new president, this year, not so much, and Canadians (starting with the Trudeau) seem perfectly happy that Trump is going elsewhere -- reduce the police budget for 2017!  The absence of enthusiasm for Trump's possible visit to Canada, mirrors that UK's recent "rescheduling" of Trump's long announced visit to the UK, there too the government decided that his visi…

Volatility it's like 1993 all over again

The VIX (volatility index) has not seen such low levels in nearly a quarter of a century...24 years to be exact.  Looking at the market something strange is afoot; the price rise of the SPX has been concentrated in a few big stocks (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon etc) whereas the rest has been languishing in "nowhereland".

What is going on; gold is in the forever band of US$ 1,200/oz, king copper dropped down (granted no one knows why), and oil is back screwing around the mid $40/bbl and so the economic hard data (PMI etc etc) are fading and also doing very little to encourage the market.  In fact, until a few days ago, the SPX and consumer sentiments were the two outliers, until late last week when consumer sentiment started tanking -- joining the ranks of hard data and other stuff.

The question is what's going on; could it be central bank liquidity that has no where to go, and has selected these hyper stocks as a good store of value (better than Treasuries?) what is m…

The five biggest promises: Macron's presidency

Committed to EuropeReduce Payroll taxesLiberate the economyBetter EducationSecuring Europe's borders 
Committed European: I am not certain these are Macron's biggest promises but they do represent substantial "challenges". On the bright side, the first one is the easiest because Macron doesn't have to do anything.  LePen's cue was that her party was anti-Europe, mainly to stop the flow of immigrants -- (et tu Theresa May?).  But again this one means that France, its institutions, remain committed to the ideal of Europe.

Reduce Payroll Taxes:  The issue of taxation is a serious one in France, but also Germany where marginal tax rates are high, much higher than anywhere in North America -- but not only are taxes high, the government deficit is also very high.  While reducing payroll taxes will make employing additional workers, I suggest that changing work rules (such as 35 hour work week) and other shift (very very difficult) are necessary.  Maybe Macron will h…

Trade War: Now the games really start

Canada are not morons, they know that the best way to get Donald Trump's (short) attention span is to get him where it hurts:


American coal exported via Canada -- shut that sucker down!Any US production subsidies (an there are a lot)Could go after US airlines -- after all US airlines don't pay the cost of air traffic operations... Again the issue is that Trump doesn't understand his business (that of being President of the good old US of A).  Canada can create massive pain for Trump, lets not forget that Canada has a $50 billion trade deficit with the US -- the pain will be far more one sided that Trump realizes.

Good weekend all

Magic Eight Ball: PMI, Oil & Copper

That was today in London -- the above graph is for copper and when copper falls things are serious.  Now the reason for the fall is that inventories jumped 12% -- obviously the "culprit" is China (not really but that's what going to be written in the press!).

The reality is that the world seems stuck in neutral, and China -- the $1 dollar work shop of the world is feeling the sting.  Despite massive infrastructure spending the country's growth is decelerating, moreover, the government seems to finally take the growing debt problem seriously, forcing banks to recognized off-balance sheet loans as part of the banks' lending and thereby leverage.

On the other side of the planet (i.e. America) we have consumer sentiments rising, but PMI (actual hard numbers manufacturing) slowing to zero growth.  For the past few months, the current American administration has been glowing in the rising consumer sentiments -- unfortunately, with more than 8,000 announced store closu…

Alitalia: files for bankruptcy...again

NOTE:   Since I wrote this article the Italian government has agreed to bankruptcy whereby the airline will either be sold (unlikely) or be wound down -- another 12,000 jobs are gone! 

Old joke; How do you make a small fortune in the airline industry?  Start with a large one!

Europe suffers from too many legacy sovereign airlines that simply cannot compete with the new players, or older players that decided to make hard decisions.  While I too would like to earn a Euro 75,000.00 to be a flight attendants its simply not economical, especially one that is restricted to the total number of hours he/she can fly.  This may sound callous but its the truth, in large part a flight attendants is paid a large  multiple of what a a waitress would get.

I focus on salaries and work rules, which are a problem, but its also a culture problem.  I flew Alitalia many times and I was never impressed with the product -- its not a question of how new the equipment was, rather its a question of attitude b…

Canada's house prices -- nose bleed levels

Housing is a fundamental and important component of the economy, its represents a substantial percentage of any country's GDP -- think not only new construction but renovation.  Most in the West, and especially in North America have a conception that housing ownership is a basic component of life, liberty and everything else.  In other words, buying a house should be the first and most important move anyone makes.

House price in Canada didn't correct in the same way as they did in the US (or anywhere else) banks were not affected by the "housing crash" which didn't happen anyway!  After 2008, despite the world correction, oil prices and commodity prices remained high in Canada.  There are no doubts that places like Windsor suffered (Canadian capital of the automobile manufacturing).  Moreover, none of the exotic American mortgage products made it to Canada -- no teaser rates, no NINJA no nothing.  Moreover, mortgage rates in Canada reset every 5 years -- there is…

NAFTA: Its been 23 years; time for a divorce?

NOTE:  In the hours following this announcement, Trump announced that he's changed his mind -- for now.  If I were Canada and Mexico, I would start investigating the availability of Wheat & other grains from Brazil..

Well it looks like Trump is getting ready to kill NAFTA. Since he's probably not aware of the full ramifications of the agreement it will come and bite him in the ass, but for now he sounds tough. He's even claimed that its at the urging of Mexico and Canada that he's about to "try" to kill NAFTA.

Should NAFTA survive?  The short answer is yes it has been good for all three trading partners, in fact it has been very very good for the US.  However, and as usual, its the squeaky wheel that gets the notice.  For most US companies (and consumers) trade with Mexico or Canada has been good, but not for dairy farmers who feel that Canada is an unexplored opportunity -- they are right, but the introduction of of more American milk will kill Canada…

Canada, really a trade war with Canada...who saw that coming?

Soft Lumber
The soft lumber thing has been going on for years -- it actually goes back to the 1980s -- so a long long time.  In 2004, the world court sided with Canada, that in fact there was no specific advantage to Canadian timber producers, nevertheless the Americans keep on feeling shortchanged and Trump (it could have been Obama too) decided to side with the American producers instead of the American consumer, and impose stiff tariffs.  Its happened before and will happen again.  Obviously, the problem right now is that many posts, in the department of exterior, remain unfilled.  It is hard to have a conversation with the appropriate level when that job has not been filed.  As it stands, so far trump has nominated 23 of more than 470 politically sensitive jobs within the US government.  That could also be part of the problem, like Mexico, Canada has no real interlocutor.
So the US is planning to impose a 20-28% duty on Canadian timber, certain that the American companies are happ…

Valuation & Location, location, location the future of suburbia

The old adage that in real estate location, location, location are the only true valuable elements in buying a home.  Years ago now, I was an owner of a house in Montreal, top of the mountain twenty yards from the vaunted "Westmount"  -- the view from the house was spectacular and an anomaly in the neighborhood, insofar as every single house but ours, was a multi-million affaire -- everyday the street was full of painters, landscapers and general maintenance people, who were seining that every aspect of every house was at all time prefect...

Our house was less than that, we both worked for a living (granted so did a lot of my neighbors) but our house was ordinary in an extraordinary area.  For me it was a house, yes a nice house, but it was just a house!

When time came to sell the house we had more than a 100visits!  Which is a lot I assure you, we had one "open house" event and more than 30 people came to see the house.  The biggest complaint we got was the they d…

Why Trumpcare failed?

Although the GOP (or at least its associated think tanks) is deeply associated with Obamacare (think of Massachusetts) I suspect that the real issue in the debate about health care is far more phylosphical than most people understand:

The GOP is fundamentally against a government provided healthcare system and will try everything to stop it, its not a question of social good, or of equality is a question that the government should not be involved in healthcare at all.

The Freedom Caucus at least is honest -- it would prefer the government have no role in healthcare at all, in fact, corporation that have deduction for healthcare -- should face the fact that these deduction (for taxes) should disappear!

This is not about making society better or more efficient (you would think it would be in the end) its about philosophy and how the role of the government should be limited to inter-state commerce and defense.  Aside from that nothing.

As for the states, they are sovereign entities; and …

Brexit: It continues to be interesting -- June 8 elections!

Wow, I mean Wow

Theresa May, the UK's prime minister has just announced that she will call an election on June 8th. A massive reversal from her past view that an election would be disruptive, it also gives here a mandate as prime minister -- a useful tool if you are to negotiate with Europe.

More important are the elections in France this weekend could be very very important: both the far right (National Front) and the far left (Socialists) are anti-Europe.  This could be one of those times when the choice is between two anti-Europe forces!

Europe would not survive -- to the pleasure of Trump and Putin.



Getting it right too soon -- as bad as getting it wrong!

In March 2014 I wrote:
The economics have changed the smart money has moved on.  So the markets are freaking out!  Moreover that's for the housing prices, considering the damage that Amazon is doing to the average mall (without generating any real profits) it amazes me how well commercial real estate income trust continue to perform.  I cannot remember the last time I bought goods in a store.  So the malls are dying and real estate is back in trouble.  However, this time around the guys suffering are hedge funds and their "rich" investors-- and not the banks.  My guess is that Congress will pass new "hedge fund saving legislation" very quickly.  After all, you got to support the guy who got you elected.
I wrote this three years ago, and although  today Malls are in real trouble, it took much much longer than anticipated to go from being a negative trend to a route.  On the bright side there is virtually no (economical) way these days to short REITs, but should y…